Michael Wojcik: Building an arena should not be a city priority
Just like in a bad zombie movie, the latest stadium proposal keeps coming back to life. From the people who brought you fiscal recklessness and cost overruns at the Recreation Center, we now present a downtown arena.
Rochester is currently unable to fund our own staffing plan, parks masterplan, library capacity and road maintenance. Affordable housing is in crisis, childcare is broken and we can’t attract the workforce we need to fill existing positions. So, what is the solution? Apparently, another Civic Center expansion. I’m not that dumb and neither are you. For a fraction of this amount we could fix every unsafe route that kids walk to school.
I certainly hope there is no support for this outside of Randy Staver and his friends on the Convention & Visitors Bureau. To put this in perspective, far more time and energy is being spent on building another stadium than is being spent finding solutions for basic needs like housing. To put the magnitude of this error in perspective, for less money we could provide every home and business in Rochester with quality affordable broadband — forever.
I hope we swiftly vote on this boondoggle so we can see who besides Staver is supporting it. I fully intend to use every tool I can to prevent this, including forcing a referendum, preventing the votes needed to bond this project, and even highlighting issue during 2018 elections. This is a basic test of common sense and I intend to pass. If the RCVB has the time and money to pursue this, I know where we can find money to balance the 2018 budget.
Michael Wojcik represents Ward 2 on the Rochester City Council.